Hiiro – What We Think:
In a world that appears so simple, Hiiro captures ambiance and beauty through its originality. Published by Sometimes You, this 2D platformer visits a broad environment full of exploration and moderately challenging puzzles that unearth the beautiful depths of the sea or climb the highest snowy mountain that exemplify Hiiro’s expansive world. Though the visuals are fairly elementary, there’s something adorable yet mysterious about the little red creature who has abruptly succumbed to isolation.
Little Red Riding Dude
Hiiro begins in a puzzling manner, without much guidance to go off of, but proves to be pretty simple: Gameplay mechanics are fundamental, broadening the world of Hiiro to even the most casual gamers. Venturing through a charming world as a petite red individual, it was my duty to put the puzzle pieces together.
Why had I become excluded from my village? What did these small yellow cubes symbolize? It was a bit of head-scratcher, but I assumed they were of high importance. So obviously, I went on a little escapade to seek them out.
Adventuring through Hiiro’s expansive world is simply serene. Fading into a meditative state is merely a result of the peaceful soundtrack as it blends flawlessly from one area into the next. Discoveries appear endless, and defeat is not an option. Seriously, there is no “game over.” My red friend has fallen from the highest clouds and swum through endless waters, completely immune to even the harshest environments. He’s really something else. Complexities are very rare, which is a nice change of pace for a platformer.
Gleaming the Cube
Dispersed throughout are not only those fancy yellow cubes but superior versions of them. A lot of the time, puzzles have to be executed in order to acquire these masterpieces. Confusion ran a close second to tranquility, seeing as a respectable chunk of the riddles were somewhat mind-boggling. Well, until I began paying closer attention to my surroundings. Considering words – spoken or written – are nonexistent in Hiiro, recognizing landmarks became necessary. Sure, my brain swelled to double its size once or twice, but it’s OK; my little red dude eased me back to my happy place.
Discovering secret entrances also plays a huge role in Hiiro, for they can lead to undiscovered biomes. Numerous passages are invisible to the naked eye, but many are accessible through walls that appear slightly rigid. Observance is key, and visual hints are scattered near and far. Or, you know, hopping around aimlessly until a stealthy area is exposed works, too. Oddly, with a game so undemanding, it is truly rewarding unveiling these hidden mysteries and collectibles. Who’d’a thunk?
A Small, Quiet Life Full of Wonders
Bearing in mind that Hiiro consists of eight distinctive worlds, following the very basic map that is offered is a lifesaver. Flashing yellow dots appear on the map, symbolizing the location of various small yellow cubes. Additionally, Hiiro presents a simple inventory showcasing every artifact that has been attained. This way, the progress that has been made is clear as day.
Though the entirety of Hiiro may seem eccentric in size, it’s almost stress-free following the basic map to get from point A to point B. Granted, some areas can be a pain to reach, but that “Ah-ha!” moment is triggered once that inner light bulb clicks on. Personally though, reaching the highest platform was quite the achievement. Started from the bottom, now we’re here. Well, except misjudging a double-jump landed me back on solid ground. All that hard work for nothing.
A Type B Challenge
Hiiro is not the game to play if you’re looking for a challenge, but rather when you’ve had a stressful day at work and want to settle back into a peaceful state of mind for a couple of hours. Delving into dinosaur ruins and jumping across treetops is entirely carefree, and though completing Hiiro isn’t necessary, multiple endings are attainable that better explain the story. So put on your comfy clothes, grab your controller or keyboard, and travel the vast environments of Hiiro. I promise you won’t regret it.
Hiiro is available via Steam.
Watch the trailer for Hiiro below: